Amygdalin is a naturally occurring byproduct of certain fruits and vegetables. The best source of amygdalin is the kernels and stones of apricots, nectarines, and almonds, although it is also found in apple seeds, berries, pears, plum stones, alfalfa, lima beans, celery, and sorghum. Because we would not typically consume the stones of its best-known sources, amygdalin must be extracted and purified before use.
What Is Amygdalin?
Amygdalin is a chemical compound, distinguishable by its bitter almond odor. It contains small amounts of cyanide (hence the odor) and in its synthetic form is better known as Laetrile. It is also often referred to as Vitamin B17.
How Long Has Amygdalin Been Used For?
Traditional Chinese and Korean medical practitioners have used amygdalin for several hundreds of years. Some Native American tribes were also known to distill a drink from boiling almonds. However, it was not until the 1830s that French chemists Pierre Robiquet and Antoine Boutron-Charlard isolated and purified amygdalin from bitter almond seeds. It was patented in the 1850s and has been used in experimental trials by medical professionals in Russia, the USA, Mexico, and other countries since then.
What Is Vitamin B17 Used For?
Although at one stage amygdalin was thought to have potential in treating certain diseases, it is now primarily used as a dietary supplement. Research is continuing as to what other health benefits amygdalin may contain.
Is Vitamin B17 Amygdalin Safe?
Amygdalin does contain cyanide, which is poisonous in large enough or pure enough quantities. Cyanide is found in small amounts in foods such as pears, apple seeds, beans, and berries, all of which are healthy to eat. Like many other substances, the key is moderation. If taking amygdalin as a dietary supplement, be mindful of consuming other foods which contain the compound.
In what forms can amygdalin be taken?
The main methods in which amygdalin is administered are as follows:
- Orally (by means of a pill)
- As a suppository
- As skin lotion
Injection is considered to provide the most direct method of absorption; however, it must be said that taking amygdalin intramuscularly is a more painful option. Side effects, such as dizziness, nausea, or lower blood pressure are most common when taking amygdalin orally. This is because the pills are broken down as part of the digestive process, thus releasing the toxic cyanide. Be wary of any untoward symptoms and contact your doctor if you have concerns.
Although there is still work to be done about what other health benefits amygdalin may hold, it is worth pointing out that a diet rich in beans, nuts, fruits, and berries, all of which contain this compound, is considered to be a healthy diet. If you would like to know more, call or get in touch with us by email to purchase amygdalin as a dietary supplement.